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Backpack dredge matting

Hi I’m wondering if anyone has advice on whether fake grass (Astro turf) would be better than the standard carpet style green matting in the rear end of a 2inch suction dredge ?
Any advice appreciated .
I have attached a pic of the standard set up

I’ve thought the same thing with my keene 2 inch. I would consider swapping the green stuff for the miners moss with the backing. But gold generally won’t get as far down the box to hit the green mat. Should drop thru the plate at top, or fall off the plate and stay on those couple of riffles.

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Choice thanks for that

In my opinion the best possible thing you can do for this dredge is to place expanded mesh under the riffles. But that’s not as simple as it sounds. You have to adjust all the bolts holding down the riffles to allow room for the expanded mesh, as you don’t want to compress the carpet to the point it won’t hold gold.

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Jabs I’ve got a setup similar to that on one of my wee dredges. It’s a promack with a headerbox- Doesn’t get much use but it’s a weapon for catching gold. I wouldn’t change a thing. My thoughts

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Header box set ups work very well as they really smash up the material in the “boil box” & take out the rapid water pressure flow down the box. The best set up for clay type material & fine gold recovery. I’m with queenstown on this. Miners moss. Most of the gold should be getting caught under the classifier screen unless things are totally out of control re angle of box & water speed volume going down the box in relation to gold size.

JW :cowboy_hat_face:

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Thanks for all the advice guys

Theres miners moss and then there’s miners moss. Go unbacked and go high quality like the 3M stuff.
Miners moss has a lot of surface area so be prepared for a lot more cons.

The Keene carpet works very well. Forget the fake grass astro turf. Its ok but it doesn’t have the little ribs in it which really give the ribbed carpet (The stuff thats already in your dredge made by Keene) an edge over fine gold recovery.

Regarding the crash box debate- Forget it. Unless your in a clay rich area I can see maybe a benefit. But if you are in a clay rich area then you should be using a blaster noozle which is a lot more effective and has the benefit of really cleaning out crevices and breaking up hard pack. Your gold count will go up.
Look there’s a reason none of the major manufacturers of dredges dont use crash boxes any more and thats because they are inefficient. You have loose a ton of efficiency and they are nowhere as near effective on fine gold. A flare system used on all dredges allows the material to really slow down before it hits the box . This allows the material to drop straight into your box. It also allows the powerjet to sit lower in the water which means your not lifting the material so far out of the water resulting in less rock jams, greater suction and more controlled water without whitecaps in your box.

In all fairness a small 2 inch dredge like what you have are pretty effective on fine gold already as the biggest rock are no bigger than 2 inch and the water flow and depth is less than say a 6 inch dredge. Just by having that your fine gold recovery is favorable

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The reality is that a 2" is really just a toy. You could shovel quicker into a sluice box. 2" really only good for bedrock cracks & crevices & not for moving material.

JW :cowboy_hat_face:

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Thanks pritch lots of great info there

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Yea kiwijw I seen it going cheap and thought bugger it …I can get a bit of experience on it before I upgrade in the future.might learn a thing or two before a big purchase and kinda hit the ground running

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Hi Jabs, Fair enough mate. I started with a 2" that I made. I got a motor, pump, nozzle, powerjet & hose direct from Keene in the States & made the rest myself. Soon learned that it was great for shallow bedrock & that is mostly where the gold is at. On the bedrock. For moving material way quicker to shovel it either into a sluice box or just shovel it out of the way to get to the bedrock & its cracks & crevices. Time can be important so good to get to bedrock as quick as you can & not waste time & petrol sucking up worthless gravel & putting it down the box. I learned too that the suction noozle was better than the powerjet on the 2" when playing around in shallow water. Dont need to reprime the hose when you lift the hose out of the water with the suction noozle.

Legaly you need a claim when it comes to using dredges, or access to one. There in the costs go up & it can become an exspensive hobby. I really dont think it it viable these days to expect to be able to make a living from dredging for gold. But hey, it isnt always about making money but enjoying the journey, the process, getting out among nature & the people you meet on the way. Food for the soul. That is the real gold. Any metalic gold is just a bonus, but you never know your luck. We gold hunters are for ever optomistic. Best of luck out there.

JW :cowboy_hat_face:

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Wise words there Kiwijw

Suction nozzles are great for shallow and getting out of the water. I can see the advantage of using a 2 inch for cleaning out crevices that are hard to get into .

The 2 inch dredge can be good for sampling as well as its easy to pack into remote areas. Another good thing and you can sometimes see them are the old suitcase dredges or mail box dredges from the 90s and 2000s . Great for sampling and packing into a heli and they can move a bit more material than a 2 inch . They sometimes come up on trademe for cheaper than a normal dredge

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well said! I find it much quicker to shovel in to a Gold Cube with trommel but then suck the bedrock for the fines. Seems to work!

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